Virginia at TCU, 12:00. TCU is the most disappointing kind of undefeated: the kind that only beat Kansas 20-6, and looked half-asleep while doing it. Virginia has done its own somnambulist act recently, losing 56-20 to Georgia Tech on the road. The good news for the Cavaliers: TCU recently lost its leading rusher--not a strong point, that UVa run defense--and will not have to worry about their mascot impaling himself because the game is in Amon G. Carter stadium.
If there is a tiebreaker here, it is that TCU insists on reminding you that we as a society do not all have jetpacks yet. Then comes the jetpack rage, and damn you, TCU.
Lean: Virginia. Damn you for making us mad all over again about how this imaginary and impractical childhood idea has not happened yet., Horned Frogs.
Maryland at West Virginia, 12:00 p..m. It would be tempting to pull for Maryland here: outnumbered on the depth chart, outgunned at every skill position, and entering the faintly evil hollows of Morgantown to face a coach unafraid of tearing an opponent's defenses down to their withering, decimated skeletons by the third quarter. It would be a great caper, but I've also seen Maryland play "football", and cannot with a clear conscience endorse Randy Edsall's unique and soporific brand of football constipation.
Lean: West Virginia. If this game stays under 300 yards offense total, Maryland wins, but everyone who watches it loses in so many ways. If it goes over 350 yards, it's going to 700, with 600 of those yards belonging to West Virginia.
Florida at Kentucky, 12:21 p.m. Why 21 minutes past the hour? Probably an allusion to 12/21, aka Samuel Jackson's birthday, the best motherf$&#in' birthday in the entire universe, and a reference to the kind of attitude Joker Phillips wants his team to take against Florida. Joker Phillips forgot that Samuel L. has just the moment describing Kentucky football in his repertoire, and it is not the one he wishes it was.
Lean: Kentucky. The first thing Joker Phillips is going to do is seal off this aaaaahhh---
Missouri at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. The battle of the Columbias! Best decided by a consideration of each Columbia. One is a vibrant university town with unique character and pleasant surroundings, and the other is Columbia, South Carolina. Did you know the town of Columbia, South Carolina has wide streets because locals believed mosquitos could fly no further than 60 feet without dying? That meant the safest place was the middle of the street, where people could converse unharassed by bugs until they were trampled to death by horses. Planning and science have never been South Carolina's boldest resume points.
Lean: Missouri. South Carolina's only led the SEC in the statistical category of underwhelm thus far. Having written this, watch Marcus Lattimore now run for 200 yards today.
Michigan at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. This card says Notre Dame is a "dee-fen-sive" team now, capable of running the ball, controlling the tempo of the game with the ground game, and clamping down on whatever the opposing team planned to do offensively. Michigan provides the perfect counter: they plan nothing on offense, because they have a Denard Robinson, one of the few players in college football capable of turning every game into an Aussie Rules match. Those behinds are only worth one point, but they add up.
Lean: Michigan. A coach who is happy to compare himself to Chris Farley is alright with us.
Kansas State at Oklahoma, 7:50 p.m. There's so much to like about Kansas State: their immortal Highlander of a coach, Collin Klein's hammering running style, their ability to gain half their statistics at the end of a game and yet come out on the winning end of the scoreboard. Kenny Stills makes an edgy but stunning drag queen, but Oklahoma can't really compete with the oddball Jurassic charm of Kansas State's old-school attack.
Lean: Kansas State. Kenny Stills can put Oklahoma ahead in rootability by running wild past K-State DBs in an evening dress, which would be the greatest thing ever.
Clemson at Florida State, 8:00 p.m. Mean is pretty rootable, as in Florida State's defensive line. However, fast as hell is also deeply rootable, as in the Clemson offense, so the team strengths cancel each other out. Coach? They're both the same basic prototype of "goofy but driven redneck doofus," so it's a push there, as well. Jimbo could change that with one simple decision, though:
Lean: Clemson, whose offense is far more entertaining to watch thanks to Chad Morris' willingness to use eight play-fakes in a single play.
Arizona at Oregon, 10:30 p.m. Rich Rodriguez thought the roof was doing just fine, but then woke up with this gigantic neon tree through his roof. That's what happens with Oregon: you go to bed on the East Coast assuming the weather's going to hold, and wake up to footage of unimaginable damage on the news. Arizona's Rodriguez/Casteel reunion tour is deeply watchable thanks to Matt Scott picking up the entire RichRod offense all at once, and also for the dazed looks QBs get attempting to read the 3-3-5 for the first time in a season.
Lean: Oregon. All that stuff is true, and then De'Anthony Thomas runs through the middle and leaves flames behind him.
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